Every month, the Holy Father offers prayers and sacrifices for a specific intention, made public by the Apostleship of Prayer.
In August, his intention will be: "For researchers in the scientific and technological fields, that they accept the incessant appeals of the Church to make prudent and responsible use of the successes achieved."
The Holy Father also makes a missionary intention each month. On this occasion he will pray for "the catechists of young Churches, that they give faithful witness of their adherence to the Gospel."
The Apostleship of Prayer started in 1844, at the initiative of French Jesuit priest Father Francois Xavier Gautrelet and the approval of Pope Pius IX.
As the leadership of the Apostleship of Prayer explained, the purpose of these intentions, which are not just the Pope's but are also assumed by bishops, priests, religious, and the laity worldwide, is, among other things, to encourage Catholics throughout the world to "feel with the Church," as the intentions "are windows open to current problems of the world."
These intentions "help us to link our spiritual life with the reality of the joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties of the men to today, especially of the poor, and of all those who suffer."
"Moreover, by mobilizing the prayer and sacrifice of so many millions of people, the monthly intentions have great value of impetration," he concluded.